Gloucestershire's response to flooding

Volunteers were on standby from Friday lunchtime, when a severe weather warning caused all first aid courses to be abandoned.

Everyone has pulled together this weekend under extremely stressful conditions – our own staff and volunteers, the ambulance service, the fire service and many others.

Jason Lugg
Commissioner, Gloucestershire

By early evening a major incident was declared. During the weekend emergency one dedicated crew member even abandoned her car and bravely waded on foot to get to the St John Ambulance headquarters in order to take out a 4x4 vehicle to help local people.

Three 4x4 vehicles, three ambulances and twelve crew worked throughout the night to support the local ambulance service trust. They dealt with more than twenty incidents mainly involving medical patients who needed emergency admittance to hospital. One crew battled through three feet of water in the flooded village of Deerhurst to take a patient to hospital for a medical problem.

Fleet Manager Gary Midwinter said: ‘The rain started about 3am on Friday morning and by lunchtime we knew it was going to be serious. It was like a solid deluge of water. Our crews showed exceptional dedication in getting to our headquarters in order to man vehicles. One had to abandon her car a mile away and wade through the water to get here. It wasn’t until I went home from the office at the end of Saturday that I realised how bad it was – there was just water in every direction.’

Gloucestershire Commissioner Jason Lugg said: ‘Everyone has pulled together this weekend under extremely stressful conditions – our own staff and volunteers, the ambulance service, the fire service and many others. It has been frightening at times for many, but the resilience of local people is also to be praised. I have not seen an event like this before.’